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Sharing Your VPN Connection On Any Operating System

Getting a VPN connection on your Apple TV, Xbox, or SmartTV can be difficult.

In this guide, I'll give you a step-by-step walkthrough on how to share your VPN connection.

There are two possible ways of sharing your VPN connection:

  • Using a Router -
    This will protect all of your devices but you'll take a speed loss.
  • Sharing from your computer - 
    This is the fastest but you'll need an Ethernet cable.

I'll show you how you can do both of these, irrelevant of what operating system you chose. Whether your on Windows or Mac, you'll have your VPN shared in minutes.

Share a VPN Connection With All of Your Devices

The best way of sharing your VPN connection, is by running the VPN client on your router.

Most modern routers will allow you to do this fairly easily. Furthermore, all decent VPN providers will provide you with instructions on how to set it up.

Unfortunately, running the VPN on your router can be detrimental to speed. However, there are two ways to improve on this.

  1. Use a high-performance router. Check out this list of routers for our recommendations.
  2. Use custom router firmware

Custom Firmware Router

Using custom firmware on your router can improve your shared VPN speeds. However, it takes a lot of technical knowledge to do this on your own. If you would like to give it a go, then our DD-WRT guide is the perfect starting place.

Alternatively, you can buy pre-flashed routers.

The ExpressVPN Routers have their own firmware and provide you with fantastic speed and performance, while Flashrouters will do all the technical setup for you.

Sharing your computer's VPN connection with another device

Sharing your VPN connection through your Windows or Mac device is much easier than using a router.

You will need the following things to get it set up:

  • A computer, with an Ethernet port, connected to the internet
  • An ethernet cable
  • The device you wish to share the VPN with (it needs to have an Ethernet port too)

Share a VPN Connection From Windows

Here is how to share your VPN connection in Windows:

  1. Make sure your computer is connected to your VPN service via the provider's client.
  2. Connect your media device to the PC using an Ethernet cable
  3. Open the Network and Sharing Centre on the PC (Start -> Control Panel -> Network and Sharing Center) and click ‘Change adapter settings’.
    Windows Network and Sharing Center
  4. Find your VPN connection. OpenVPN connections usually aren't be clearly labeled, so look for one with the description ‘TAP-Win32 Adaptor V9' (or similar). Right-click on it and select ‘Properties’ from the drop-down.
    Windows Network Adapters
  5. Select the ‘Sharing’ tab, and check the ‘Allow other network users to connect through this computer’s internet connection’ box.
  6. Then, from the drop-down menu choose ’Local Area Connection’ (if you have multiple Ethernet ports on your computer, then make sure you select the one you have connected your media device to), then click ‘OK’.Share VPN Connection Windows
  7. Restart your media device and computer and it should work perfectly.

Share a VPN Connection From Mac

Sharing your connection on OSX is a bit more complicated if you wish to set up OpenVPN, but this TunnelBlick tutorial will show you how. We will also show you how to set it up using PPTP or L2TP, and the built-in VPN client.

If you would like to find out more about PPTP or L2TP encryption, click the link.

  1. Sign up for a VPN service and set it up according the provider’s instructions
  2. With your media device switched off, connect it to a USB port on your Mac using the Ethernet cable and adapter
  3. In OSX open System Preferences (Apple icon at top right of the screen -> System Preferences) and click on ‘Sharing’Mac System Preferences
  4. Creating the connection sharing settings:
    1. Pull down the ‘Sharing your connection from’ menu and select your VPN connection.
    2. In the ‘To computers using’ box, check ‘USB Ethernet’.
    3. Check ‘Internet Sharing’, and a pop-up box will appear. Click ‘Start'
    4. ‘Internet Sharing: On’ will show green to let you know that everything is working OK.Share Your VPN Mac
    5. Turn on your media device.


We really recommend you start using a VPN service with your media if you are based outside the US as you are surely missing out on some great content.

Furthermore, sharing your VPN connection will also protect all of your devices.

Now that we've shown you how to share your VPN, it's time to go ahead and do it.

Written by: Douglas Crawford

With over five years’ experience at the sharp end of the VPN industry, Douglas is a recognized cyber-privacy expert. His articles have been published by numerous technology outlets, and he has been quoted by the likes of The Independent, Ars Technica, CNET and the Daily Mail Online.


  1. Johnny Tucats

    on August 27, 2018

    Was this really published on August 8, 2018? Did you check the method provided at http://rodrigo.sharpcube.com/2010/06/20/using-and-sharing-a-vpn-connection-on-your-mac/ ? FYI the at least two of the Terminal commands in the shell executable that the author creates have been deprecated for quite a while (since El Capitan, I think). If you know how to work around this issue you're invited to update your post. Finding and linking instructions that are eight years old without checking them...

    1. Douglas Crawford replied to Johnny Tucats

      on August 28, 2018

      Hi Johnny, No, it not a new article. Our system automatically refreshes the publication dates of articles from time to time in order to prevent them from disappearing from Google. As the named author, though, I'll note that the text is not mine and is paraphrased from something I wrote for a different article some 5 years or so ago. So there has been something of a mix-up. Thanks for noticing, and I'll fix and rewrite asap.

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